Last Sunday marked the start of Semana Santa, or Holy Week. It runs the week before Easter until Easter day. While Barcelona doesn't have as large of processions as cities like Seville or Madrid, it still has some.
I went to a little suburb called L'Hospitalet de Llobregat to watch the Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos) procession. I'm pretty sure I was the only English speaker there--it was definitely an experience. At first, all I saw was a small marching band and group of individuals dressed like Romans.
Soon after, however, they started walking and I followed. I turned a corner, and suddenly there were people everywhere, lining the streets. A group of people were standing in front of a large warehouse door. I was told (in Spanish) to stand right in front of it. So I did!
Now, I know what you're thinking. And yes, the KKK did take their costumes from traditional processional garb. But let's try to get over that and realize that just because one horrible group appropriates something, it shouldn't detract from the significance of the original.
People were carrying a float with a statue of Jesus on top of it. They swayed back and forth as they moved, which made it look like Jesus himself was walking. Every so often, they would stop, and someone would sing. Then everyone started clapping wildly.
People watched from balconies.
It was a very enjoyable experience--I'm happy I went.
I leave Barcelona tomorrow. I'm not ready! I like this city.